Our health team offers a few tips on finding trustworthy advice and information online. CARLY LUFF and KASI KEEFE write.
These days there is health advice wherever you look. Whether it is a social media influencer recommending you try the latest fad, a news story sharing the latest cure or your friend at a BBQ telling you that you need to try X, Y or Z. We’re here to help you to choose what information is right for you, no matter where it comes from.
Being an active participant in your own health journey, by doing your own research, can feel empowering. It can also feel overwhelming.
Is the source credible?
By credible we mean reliable, trustworthy, and reputable. You can determine if a source is credible by checking if it comes from reputable health organisations such as government health websites, established medical associations or research institutions.
An example of a good source would be one that references a peer reviewed journal article. These articles provide information that has been through a rigourous review process by experts in the field. Sources that lack references are more likely to be biased or contain unreliable information.
Is it accurate?
The accuracy of a source will ensure that the information you are getting is correct and reliable. Accuracy will allow you to make well-informed decisions about your health, as relying on accurate information limits the amount of misinformation potential harmful advice.
When checking if a source is credible, you can use the same acronym FACTS for accuracy as well. It’s worth checking out the author because, even though the author may be a doctor, this does not mean they are the most suitable person to write about a given topic. They may